Comment to 'I Remember When...'
  • gsicard,

    I have discovered this in dogs & in horses. Where have all the thinkers gone? Where have all the deep discussions gone?
    I was lucky to have been born into a family of very old fashioned people. I have sat under the table as  a child & listened to the old men discussed breeding practices, manner of testing their breeding stock for breeding worthiness, hardness & the weaknesses they found in their own lines & the lines of others. Those were good days. There were arguments, fusses & loud heated discussions. Those were good days & they were good men with superb dogs. At those tables you spoke your mind but first you had to know enough to speak. You had to spend the time in the trenches as a grunt before you had enough knowledge to ask questions. Hence why I stayed under the table as a very young child. I listened & was fascinated so whatever they said I absorbed like a sponge. I saved my questions for my parents or the old men when they weren't having a pow-wow. They were patient & a little fascinated because I was a serious child intent on learning.

    As a young adult I got a shock to learn those discussions died with the old men. People no longer sat in conference with each other. The world had changed a great deal while I was growing up. I went seeking the old councils & found few existed. Breedworthiness was replaced by the world of ribbons & trophies. It was a foreign place to me. When my parents' dogs were tested it was testing done in live theatre deployment, on the job & it was real. We had Dobes who would hunt, fish, gather the livestock & protect the family & farm at any cost. Ribbons & trophies were fun but they weren't the be-all, end-all for a breeding dog or their offspring, their usefulness, their grit, their fire for the work.  This was the true prize for the breeder. The dog who guarded hearth & home was as valuable as the trophy winner, even more so. It wasn't that their dogs were not judged by outside people, they were judged by the mass of old men who learned from generations of dogmen.

    In my short lifetime I've seen many breeds leave the building the same as the old men, the same as those hard discussions. The message boards have done the same & it's a sad thing.  Where are young people interested in someday becoming future breeders to learn from, to hear ideas far & wide, from people all over the world about dogs, breeding, health, handling, training. I feel sorry for them. Twitter is but a sound byte. Facebook has it's uses but it's also full of bullies. That's another problem with the world these days. There are all these little cyber bullies who are very good trolls & not much good for anything else. When a good discussion on a message board takes place they come in on their high-horses ready to slay dragons (translates to anyone who thinks differently than they do).  Trolls don't bother me, I've been known to eat a few & ignore them as called for but they bother a lot of folks who leave the table when the nonsense starts. I've seen these people destroy some very exciting & deep level discussions. I've been threatened (sometimes ugly threats) by such people. It doesn't really pay off as they expect when they attempt to threaten me.

    I agree with you that it is due time to put thought & effort into this sharing of information, the discussions & fussings that take place when we have such discussions is part of growing, part of learning. In my way of thinking the dogs are worth the time & effort. I miss those discussions. I learn from them. I hope I can bring something of interest to the table. Many of the breeds discussed on the board I am unfamiliar with so I find myself fascinated to learn. The dogs benefit when we have these discussions & they're certainly deserve it.